A thief, or thieves, sliced into a metal community mailbox in Red Deer County to steal its contents.
Damage to the mailbox, located at the corner of Highway 596 and Range Road 284, west of Red Deer near Alberta Springs Golf Resort, was discovered Sunday morning. Four out of 16 boxes were damaged.
“I’ve never seen that before. It looks like it was done with a grinder. I’m thinking that maybe somebody came driving up, so they took off and they didn’t get through all of them,” said county resident Shirley Armitage, who reported the damage to police.
She said damage to the community mailbox and mail theft happens all the time in the area, her mail included.
“They actually have ripped it right off the cement and dragged it down the road. That was a couple of years ago,” Armitage said.
Blackfalds RCMP Sgt. Brent Dueck said mailbox thefts are an ongoing issue. Rural residential mailboxes tend to be located on corners, where there is no one to keep an eye on them, he said.
“It is an acknowledged problem for this detachment area. It is a priority focus for us and we’re working with Canada Post,” Dueck said.
In a statement, Canada Post said a sign will be posted at the site to notify customers to temporarily pick up their mail at the Crown corporation’s depot in Red Deer, at 6010 67A St.
Repairs to the mailbox are underway and customers will be notified as soon as regular mail delivery resumes.
“We take the security of the mail very seriously and we work closely with the police on such cases,” Canada Post said.
Those who have not received an expected parcel should inform the sender, who may initiate a claim with Canada Post customer service.
To help keep mail safe, Canada Post encourages customers to collect their mail daily; use Canada Post’s hold mail service to suspend delivery when they go away; file a change of address request with Canada Post when moving and inform banks and other institutions.